Thursday, April 3, 2014

Federal Judge rules discrimination case against Library of Congress by gay man can move forward

U. S. District Court Building for the District of Columbia
By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON -- U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled Monday that a gay man's discrimination lawsuit against the Library of Congress can move forward.
Peter TerVeer, a former management analyst, had sued the Library of Congress in 2012 under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 ban on sex discrimination, claiming that he faced discrimination after his boss found out that he was gay.
The lawsuit charges that his supervisor John Mech and library official Nicholas Christopher, Mech’s immediate supervisor, further violated Title VII by retaliating against TerVeer when he attempted to challenge their actions in an internal library complaint.
“Mech imposed his sex stereotypes and fundamentalist religious beliefs on homosexuality upon the plaintiff, resulting in a hostile working environment,” the lawsuit alleges.
In her 34 page opinion, U. S. District Court Judge Kollar-Kotelly rejected an argument by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia that TerVeer had not proved standing to pursue a claim that he was not covered under the guidelines of Title VII as he was alleging grounds of illegal sex discrimination based on gender stereotyping as a gay man.
The Judge also denied a motion by the U. S. Attorney to dismiss the claim in a summary judgement. But, she did grant another portion of the defence motion and dismissed a claim that the Library of Congress violated TerVeer’s constitutional rights as well as violated Library of Congress regulations and policies.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bans discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, and gender. Recent legal precedent has been set in federal court rulings that expand its definition to include gender identity, but not sexual orientation by itself.